EPHI to Conduct the 2nd Global Adult Tobacco Survey at National Level

EPHI to Conduct the 2nd Global Adult Tobacco Survey at National Level

ADDIS ABABA – August 06, 2023 (NIPN/EPHI) - Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) is to conduct a national Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) in collaboration with the Ethiopian Food and Drug Authority (EFDA), World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), CDC Foundation and RTI International in 13 Regions where over 16, 182 people will be involved, sources said. Environmental Health and Non-Infectious Disease (EHND) Case Team with the Food Science and Nutrition Research Directorate (FSNRD) of EPHI announced here that the national survey would be conducted for two months as of mid-September 2023.

The GATS project Principal Investigator (PI) and case team leader, Sisay Derso said at a pretest Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop held from July 31st to 4th August 2023 at the premises of EPHI that the Training would equip trainees with technical and skill know-how. He further mentioned that this workshop is conducted to equip participants with knowledge and skills of GATS planning and implementation so as to enable them to facilitate the training of interviewers and supervisors for the main nationwide survey. The ToT in which 20 researchers were involved dwelt on pretesting the designed questionnaires, translated documents, tablets and other materials that will be used during the national survey. The ToT attendants are researchers and technical working group members drawn from EPHI and partner organizations like EFDA, WHO, Ethiopian Statistical Service, according to Sisay Derso.

Sisay said that the ToT had two parts. The one given on field staff practices and the other given in syndicate room on technical skill upgrading of information technology. Trainees were shown how to use tablet during the field survey and the actual procedure of filling up questionnaires prepared in selected pretest enumeration areas in three Sub-Cities (Arada, Kolfe and Lemi) in Addis Ababa. The purpose of ToT is to equip the trainee researchers with the necessary skills so that they can supervise and monitor the actual survey, according to information obtained from the participants. 

Sisay said that the Government, through the Ministry of Health (MoH) and EFDA has given the responsibility of conducting the survey to EPHI, which has proved its experience in the first GATS-Ethiopia accomplished in 2016. Sisay said that policy change on tobacco control and prevention has been formulated based on the outcome of the previous 2016 GATS.

This second GATS-Ethiopia was made significant for two major objectives, according to Sisay. Ethiopia has been implementing its strong tobacco control and prevention rules and regulations. The survey to be conducted in the near future will give an opportunity (by providing the necessary data and information) for the concerned body to evaluate the status of this process. The other objective of the GATS-Ethiopia is that WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control obliges member countries to report the status of tobacco every five years. “For all these reasons it is our duty to come up with competitive data on the survey. That’s why we are giving due attention to GATS-Ethiopia,” Sisay said.

Sisay further said that the outcome of the study is expected to be used as recommendations for the upcoming implementation of the tobacco control and prevention policy and to fill possible gaps. “Apart from this, the survey will enable us to come with alternative ways of tobacco control and prevention methods. These can be cessation service, price hike on tobacco, strengthening prevention method on public arena, nicotine replacement therapy... or to examine and fill gaps of the previous prevention methods…,” Sisay said.  

Sisay said that GATS-Ethiopia will be conducted in four languages (Amharic, Afan Oromo, Tigrigna and English). According to him 570 enumeration areas are incorporated in the survey to be conducted in 13 regions using 116 data collectors and coordinators. These data collectors will have intensive training a few days before the actual survey is launched.

Four donor organizations, WHO, CDC, CDC Foundation and RTI are supporting the project, according to Sisay. They assisted technically by designing survey methodology, producing questionnaire and tools programing, by supplying fund and other necessary materials, according to Sisay.

Opening the Training Workshop, Director of FSNRD Masresha Tessema (PhD) said that the adult tobacco survey that will be conducted at national level in Ethiopia would help strengthen the first round study. Hence, the technical and financial assistance of the CDC, CDC Foundation, RTI International, and WHO is critical for EPHI to carry out this survey. Masresha appreciated all partners for their continuous support to accomplish the survey. (NIPN/EPHI).